Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Inside the Alte

The inside of the museum had mostly German artists, with a few others mixed in here and there.  In this piece by Johann Bartholdi Jongkind, the waif of a tree on the left stood out to me.  I like the painting, but the tree makes it a little too horizontally balanced.  Like, he painted it without the tree and decided that it was too right-heavy so he added it as an after thought.  Why is there only one tree that tall?  A very intriguing start to our museum journey.

Further on, there was a little exhibition room showcasing sketches and pieces by Adolph Menzel.  The first two, presented as a pair, are done with pastels.  I was immediately drawn to them, with pastel being my own favorite medium.  The draping of the dresses and fabrics is , while also conveying texture, is amazing.  The next one, of a suit of armor, also includes an amazing amount of detail.  And the curving lines on the back plate reminded me of the elven suits of armor in The Lord of the Rings movies.

Speaking of Lord of the Rings, this statue looks like an early prototype of one of the Ents!

Moving on, there was a beautiful duo of sea-bound paintings by Max Klinger.  The top one depicts Triton and the Naiads, while the bottom one is Venus.  I love the sea blues and greens contrasting with the flat sky.

After a few more rooms we had made it to the end of the first floor.  Looking out, you could see the Cathedral, and looking up, you could see a beautifully painted dome.

This next painting, by Carl Spitzweg, was very unique.  First, the long vertical shape with a low-set horizon line is a bold choice.  Next, the slightly flat and yellowed color tones make it look like an old color photograph.  I really liked it, especially the detail of the skyline in the background.

And then we entered into more of an Impressionist realm, starting with the Nollendorfplatz by Night, by Lesser Ury.  Impressionist strokes lend themselves well here to the drippy, rainy atmosphere, but the best part is the light stretching out from the car headlights.

And lastly, there were some very nice landscapes throughout the museum.  The clouds in all three of these are very well done.  Each include a slightly pinkish hue, enhancing the feel of sunset, without actually portraying a cliche setting sun.  Overall, the museum wasn't exactly what we were expecting, but as usual, we found some special surprises and new artists to watch for.

(photos by e.hunt)

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